At the 2013 Dragon Con I had the extraordinary opportunity to interview Teryl Rothery. One of my favorite actresses, Teryl is known for her roles on Stargate SG-1, Cedar Cove, and many many others. I couldn’t believe my luck that she was able to fit me into her very chaotic convention schedule, and I couldn’t thank her enough.
SpaceGypsies.com: I’ve seen you at a few Creation Conventions, but this is your first Dragon Con. This is a very different experience.
Teryl Rothery: My second Dragon Con. I was here, I think, in 2002. It was a long time ago. It is different. It’s fun.
SG: What’s the most memorable thing you’ve seen so far?
TR: There’s just too much. It’s really overwhelming. I’m just in awe of all these beautiful costumes. Some of them are so elaborate. That’s the big thing for me. There are too many wonderful ones to mention. I’m just blown away by what everyone puts into these costumes, they’re fabulous.
SG: You’ve been very busy lately. I’ve been watching your new show Cedar Cove.
SG: It’s fantastic. I really enjoy it. But for those who haven’t seen it yet, what can you tell us about the show and your character?
TR: It is based on the books by Debbie Macomber. It takes place in Cedar Cove, Washington. It is a warm and fuzzy very first series for the Hallmark Channel. I’m really proud to be a part of it. My character is Grace Sherman. She is the best friend of Olivia Lockheart who is played by Andie McDowell. She is the judge of the town and I am the librarian of the town. Oh my gosh she is such a joy to play! She’s such a free spirit. She’s adventurous and she has this amazing free spirit. She’s a great balance to Olivia’s character. She has to obviously be more subdued because she’s the judge. These two women have grown up together. We’ve raised our kids together. It’s about what happens in that little town and the relationships that develop there.
SG: So I have to ask real quick, as a horse owner, were you anywhere as nervous as Grace looked to be riding a horse?
TR: No, no I ride. I’m not a great rider. I haven’t spent a lot of time lately on a horse. I grew up taking English riding lessons. So it was fun to play that I knew nothing about horses when I’m really a huge horse person.
SG: You’re not the only Stargate Alum that’s on Cedar Cove. You were with Gary Chalk.
TR: Gary is on it. He plays our Sheriff. Sheriff Troy. It’s so much fun hanging with him.
SG: There’s Elise Levesque, who was on Stargate Universe.
TR: Elise plays my daughter on the show. And is so not only drop dead gorgeous, but she’s probably one of the funniest women I’ve ever met. I adore her. We have a great time. It’s a great cast.
SG: I think she really plays into the role very well. Has there been any chat amongst yourselves about being alums of the Stargate Franchise?
TR: No actually. Obviously there are ties. Amanda Alexander is our script supervisor and was our script supervisor on Stargate and also worked on Universe. We have Martin Wood who is one of our directors and creative consultant on Cedar Cove. Yeah, it’s interesting. There are a lot of us that have grown up together, essentially, in this science fiction world. We just ended up on this show and we’re really grateful.
SG: The news came out recently that you’re going to be on Arrow. I’m sure you can’t talk very much about what’s going to happen or what your role is like?
TR: Absolutely not. Sorry!
SG: That’s okay. Having played Janet for as long as you did on SG-1, I was wondering if there was anything that kind of carried with you to your next roles, either intentionally or unintentionally that you learned from that role.
TR: No. Each character is completely different. If anything carries from role-to-role for any actor is the person, the individual the person. But no, there’s no Janet in Grace at all.
SG: They are very different characters and I love them both dearly.
TR: Me too!
SG: I don’t think that a lot of Stargate fans realize just how much voice work you’ve done in the past. Can you talk a little bit about how you got started in that?
TR: I don’t even know how that started to be honest with you. It’s just one of the things I do. It just started with one particular talent agency. They said “hey do you want to do some voice?” Cause I’ve done some radio. I did radio for a while. So I said, “yeah! I’d love to do that!” And that’s how it started. I just started going out and auditioning and loving it. Fortunately they like having me do it. It’s a great outlet. You can be as crazy as you want when you’re doing animation. I usually end up laughing my head off. Animation actors, the ones who do it full time, are the funniest and some of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with. They can just do a new voice, a character or accents. They’re phenomenal. And they are all…I don’t know if it’s a prerequisite, but they’re all comedians and I end up having so much fun.
SG: Did it feel like a natural transition from voice work into theater and TV? Or was it a little tricky figuring that out?
TR: No, you know what? We had that question asked in the panel. It’s just another form of the storytelling process. So you’re either on stage and you have a beginning, a middle and end, if you’re doing theater. With film it’s the same thing, you’re still telling the story, just not necessarily in the right order. With animation it’s the same thing. You’re telling a story except your character might be a little frog. But really it’s the same thing.
SG: Having done all different sorts of work: dance, voice, theater, TV…is there anything you haven’t done yet that you really want to do?
TR: Oh my gosh…there’s always things you want to do. I don’t know…I get asked “what would you do if you didn’t act” and I can’t imagine it. I can’t imagine it at all. I would love to work in England. I’d love to do a play in the West End. There are a lot of actors I’d love to work with someday. As far as doing anything…I can’t imagine. I absolutely love what I do and I’m so so lucky.
SG: Where can people look to stay up to date on your current projects?
TR: I have a website. I don’t know how updated it gets. It’s a brand new website. Another great way, I’ve just discovered Twitter not too long ago. That’s my big thing right now. I’m constantly updating. That and Hallmark put together a lovely Facebook page for me so people can stay up to date that way too.
SG: We love to support actors who have causes or organizations they like to talk about. What do you support?
TR: There are so many. I don’t have one in particular, but several I support. Feeding the homeless is a huge one for me. It just breaks my heart that people do not get enough food. That’s a big thing I’m involved in. Being an animal lover, I’m really heavily involved with the SPCA and Canadian Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation… all of that. And of course Sea Shepherd is very dear to me as well. With Richard and Paul. I’m a big believer in them too. There’s a lot out there that gets my attention.
SG: There’s one last question I have for you. We’ve found that everyone geeks out or fangirls about something. Is there anything you fangirl for?
TR: You know what’s so funny? I think the fangirl thing for me was the first time I met Patrick Stewart. I’ve always been a huge Patrick Stewart fan. I should have said that on the panel today, cause I did geek out with that. There’s certain actors that I would certainly have that thing for. Dame Judy Dench is my hero. Yeah, she’s big. I had the opportunity and the privilege to meet her and I was so proud of myself because I did not geek out. I was so good. I was coherent. It was good!
SG: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. I know it’s been a busy weekend.